Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre – Los Angeles Outreach Program

In 1995, the residential streets of Hollywood offered far less glitz and glamour than what most people expect from the town of perpetual red-carpet events. Amidst ominous sidewalks and steel-barred business fronts, unengaged neighborhood kids lived, but rarely played. Barren neighborhood parks were full of everything but the presence and laughter of children.

Concerned with this enduring lack of safe and enriching activities for youth within the neighborhood, the Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre – Los Angeles staff launched its most meaningful initiative. Armed only with milk, cookies, and children’s plays, staff opened the theatre doors and welcomed local residents inside for free afternoon shows. This was the birth of our community outreach program.

Sixteen years later, a revitalized Hollywood corridor thrives due to strategic planning, increased safety, and the community’s collective will. Today, large and small businesses, waves of tourists and colorful cultural attractions provide the new pulse and standard for this section of Los Angeles. Yet, with this revitalization and renewed energy, the residents’ need for social engagement and genuine human connection still persists. Meeting those needs often require resources; resources that are often scarce for the multiple Title I schools and working families in our area. The impact of government budget cuts to education and public agencies is woefully evident, as schools and libraries eliminate arts teachers and reduce free and affordable family programming.outreach-1

To do our part to fill this void, the Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre – Los Angeles Community Outreach Program exists to share our artistic, facility, and service resources with the people and non-profit organizations of this city. We strive to be a community partner through our plays, drama workshops, artist residencies, and professional development programs for teachers.

Through gracious grants from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation, Target Stores, Pepsi Co., and with the support of individual donors, the Stella Adler Academy – Los Angeles continues its commitment to our community’s youth, families, and senior adults.

In a city with over 9 million inhabitants, reality influences our goals, but does not shackle our service.

So, what are we doing?

Providing Arts Access for Students and Adults
Equal access is at the core of our mission. We provide free tickets to students who might not otherwise be able to attend live performances. Additionally, we provide direct neighborhood arts programming to under-served populations. Our faculty and trained students take workshops and residencies directly to apartment recreation rooms, libraries, and other convenient public meeting spaces.

  • 1,400 free student tickets distributed in 2010
  • Since 1995, our programs have reached over 20,000 students from dozens of Los Angeles-area schools and non-profit organizations
  • 4 current neighborhood programs running in Los Angeles that target senior adults, at-risk youth, economically-challenged neighborhoods, and Title I schools

outreach-4Children’s Shows
Those free afternoon performances back in 1995 have expanded to 2 fully-staged annual productions that serve 1,400 area-elementary students from Los Angeles Unified School District and private schools. Still free, students and teachers travel by foot or bus to fill our seats with young first-time theatre-goers. Past productions include: Big Friendly Giant, Hans Christian Andersen’s Nightingale, and Wiley and the Hairy Man.

Community Residencies
In 2006, our outreach team began using the arts as a tool to communicate through socio-cultural barriers and to make experiential connections in academic or community settings. Each week, our after-school programs, residencies and workshops engage nearly 100 youth and senior adults.

Current workshops and residencies include:
Improvisation and Theatre Games
Mask-making & Commedia dell’arte
Theatre for Social Change
Poetry & Spoken Word
Play Production
Academic Support

Past and Current Residency & Workshop Partners:
Aviva Family and Children’s Services
Hollywood Community Housing Corporation
Housing Corporation of America
Selma Avenue Elementary School
Stevenson Manor
Transit People
Young Storytellers Foundation

outreach-3Why do we do it?

It’s Simple. Social ACTivism.

A spirit of social responsibility fuels the community outreach program. Our late foundress, Stella Adler, believed that a man or woman could only grow as an artist as he or she grew as a human being. The artist’s place is among humanity. And, our training encourages the student to explore both self and society.

Which leads us to HOW we do it…

Through Social ACTivism, our adult acting students earn tuition credit by participating in outreach activities and children’s shows. Students are then able to afford great theatre training in our school while simultaneously practicing artistic social responsibility. And, this responsibility is taken seriously by everyone on our team. Periodic reviews are conducted to maintain the integrity of our relationships with external partners.

How can you help?
Our number of partnerships and active programs grows each school year. This growth would be impossible without grant support and individual donors.

Join our team! Make a donation today. Recommend a non-profit organization or school with an under-served population. Connect your business with our school to make in-kind donations or services.

Contact our office for more information. Call (323) 465-4466 or, email adler@stellaadler-la.com.

Visit our Sponsor page for more ways to help.

Where does your tax-exempt donation go?

A 2011 donation of $25 will purchase 2 cans of paint for a theatre production set
A 2011 donation of $50 will cover pen & paper supplies for an 8-week creative writing residency
A 2011 donation of $100 will provide 15 at-risk youth with 2 theatre mask-making sessions
A 2011 donation of $1,000 will completely cover royalties for the Fall children’s theatre show
… and rest assured a 2011 donation of $1,001 or more will go to good use, as well!